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Zelos is like a cross-game battle pass, rewarding you for completing challenges in games you already play - techcrunch

Zelos is like a cross-game battle pass, rewarding you for completing challenges in games you already play

People seem to love the concept of the battle pass. Largely popularized by Fortnite, battle passes reward players for playing well, and playing often. The better you do, the more XP you earn; the more XP you earn, the more stuff (new looks for your character, or victory dances to fire off at the end […]
techcrunch - 1 hour ago
Google research makes for an effortless robotic dog trot - techcrunch

Google research makes for an effortless robotic dog trot

As capable as robots are, the original animals after which they tend to be designed are always much, much better. That's partly because it's difficult to learn how to walk like a dog directly from a dog — but this research from Google's AI labs make it considerably easier.
techcrunch - 1 hour ago
Want to survive the downturn? Better build a platform - techcrunch

Want to survive the downturn? Better build a platform

When you look at the most successful companies in the world, they are almost never just one simple service. Instead, they offer a platform with a range of services and an ability to connect to it to allow external partners and developers to extend the base functionality that the company provides. Aspiring to be a […]
techcrunch - 2 hours ago
Pandemic puts the brakes on micromobility - techcrunch

Pandemic puts the brakes on micromobility

As of this writing, nearly a million people globally have been infected with the novel coronavirus and 50,322 have died. Healthcare systems are overwhelmed, consumers and profiteers are hoarding supplies and some service workers have launched strikes while many others have been let go. In the world of micromobility, we’ve seen Bird lay off hundreds […]
techcrunch - 2 hours ago
Zoom will enable waiting rooms by default to stop Zoombombing - techcrunch

Zoom will enable waiting rooms by default to stop Zoombombing

Zoom is making some drastic changes to prevent rampant abuse as trolls attack publicly-shared video calls. Starting April 5th, it will require passwords to enter calls via Meeting ID, since these may be guessed or reused. Meanwhile, it will change virtual waiting rooms to be on by default so hosts have to manually admit attendees. […]
techcrunch - 2 hours ago
Stocks drop as unemployment spikes - techcrunch

Stocks drop as unemployment spikes

Stocks fell in regular trading Friday, as all major American indices fell in the wake of a broadly negative jobs report. With more than 700,000 jobs lost in the March data, unemployment in the United States rose from 3.5% to 4.4%. The markets have been bracing for widespread job losses due to the continued fallout […]
techcrunch - 3 hours ago
The pandemic is already reshaping tech’s misinformation crisis - techcrunch

The pandemic is already reshaping tech’s misinformation crisis

Since 2016, social media companies have faced an endless barrage of bad press and public criticism for failing to anticipate how their platforms could be used for dark purposes at the scale of populations—undermining democracies around the world, say, or sowing social division and even fueling genocide. As COVID-19 plunges the world into chaos and […]
techcrunch - 3 hours ago
‘Artemis Fowl’ is skipping theaters for Disney+ - techcrunch

‘Artemis Fowl’ is skipping theaters for Disney+

With movie theaters largely closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney is pushing back its slate of upcoming films. And at least one movie won’t be making it into theaters at all, with “Artemis Fowl” heading straight to streaming instead. The company announced today that that the film will debut exclusively on Disney+, and that […]
techcrunch - 3 hours ago
Google rolls back SameSite cookie changes to keep essential online services from breaking - techcrunch

Google rolls back SameSite cookie changes to keep essential online services from breaking

Google today announced that it will temporarily roll back the changes it recently made to how its Chrome browser handles cookies in order to ensure that sites that perform essential services like banking, online grocery, government services and healthcare won’t become inaccessible to Chrome users during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The new SameSite rules, which […]
techcrunch - 4 hours ago
How Homage is tackling Southeast Asia’s growing eldercare need - techcrunch

How Homage is tackling Southeast Asia’s growing eldercare need

The world’s population is aging, but the needs of elderly people are still being underserved. A United Nations report found that older people make up more than one-fifth of the population in 17 countries, and by 2100, a majority of the world’s population, or 61%, will be aged 60 and above. One of the most […]
techcrunch - 5 hours ago
GM and Honda are co-developing two new electric vehicles due to arrive in 2024 - techcrunch

GM and Honda are co-developing two new electric vehicles due to arrive in 2024

GM and Honda will jointly develop two new electric vehicles slated for 2024, the latest move by the two automakers to deepen their existing partnership. Under the plan, the automakers will focus on their respective areas of expertise. Honda will design the exterior and interiors of the new electric vehicles. GM will contribute its new […]
techcrunch - 5 hours ago
Insight closes $9.5B fund to help support portfolio companies through the pandemic crunch - techcrunch

Insight closes $9.5B fund to help support portfolio companies through the pandemic crunch

We’re now several weeks into what is has become a very big dip for the global economy due to the coronavirus pandemic, but amidst that, we are seeing are some notable pockets of investment activity emerging that will help shape how the future startup landscape will look. Today one of the biggest venture capital firms […]
techcrunch - 5 hours ago
Sleep apnea retrofit designed by doctors and engineers could help address ventilator shortage - techcrunch

Sleep apnea retrofit designed by doctors and engineers could help address ventilator shortage

The FDA has been working to adapt its policies and restrictions to respond to the growing need for unconventional solutions like shortages of medical equipment needed for treating COVID-19 patients. A group of doctors, engineers and medical researchers from UC Berkeley, UCSF and working hospitals has devised a creative solution to the ventilator shortage they’re […]
techcrunch - 6 hours ago
Germany’s Xpension pension platform raises €25M in A Series C growth round - techcrunch

Germany’s Xpension pension platform raises €25M in A Series C growth round

The German pension and insurance industry was a laggard in the word of online a few years ago, but in recent times it’s quickly caught up. There’s further evidence of this trend with the news that Xpension (trading as xbAV), an online platform for pensions and life insurance, has raised €25m in its Series C […]
techcrunch - 6 hours ago
Daily Crunch: Google publishes coronavirus mobility reports - techcrunch

Daily Crunch: Google publishes coronavirus mobility reports

Google uses its ad-tracking data to provide a glimpse at how the world is responding to coronavirus, the CDC changes its tune on face masks and Apple accidentally reveals that AirTags are coming. Here’s your Daily Crunch for April 3, 2020. 1. Google is now publishing coronavirus mobility reports, feeding off users’ location history Google […]
techcrunch - 6 hours ago
Emergent BioSolutions gets $14.5M in federal funding to expedite COVID-19 plasma therapy development - techcrunch

Emergent BioSolutions gets $14.5M in federal funding to expedite COVID-19 plasma therapy development

Last week, we spoke to the Head of Emergent BioSolutions’ Therapeutics Business Unit Dr. Laura Saward about her company’s work developing plasma-based potential treatments for COVID-19. Now, the company announced that it has received $14.5 million in funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), which is part of the U.S. Department of […]
techcrunch - 6 hours ago
Bustle Digital Group shuts down The Outline as part of broader layoffs - techcrunch

Bustle Digital Group shuts down The Outline as part of broader layoffs

Bustle Digital Group, owner of a portfolio of digital media properties including Bustle itself, says it laid off two dozen staffers today. That includes eliminating the entire staff of The Outline, a culture site that it acquired a year ago. In a statement, a BDG spokesperson said the company will continue to host The Outline’s archives, […]
techcrunch - 6 hours ago
Join prolific enterprise/SaaS seed investor Jonathan Lehr April 6 at 2pm EDT for a live conference call - techcrunch

Join prolific enterprise/SaaS seed investor Jonathan Lehr April 6 at 2pm EDT for a live conference call

It’s a tough fundraising environment out there, but one of the few glimmers of hope lies in the enterprise and SaaS markets. Critical customer problems + recurring revenues is probably where you want to be right now to weather out the storm that’s hitting the startup world these days. That’s why we are excited to […]
techcrunch - 7 hours ago
OctoML raises $15M to make optimizing ML models easier - techcrunch

OctoML raises $15M to make optimizing ML models easier

OctoML, a startup founded by the team behind the Apache TVM machine learning compiler stack project, today announced that it has raised a $15 million Series A round led by Amplify, with participation from Madrone Ventures, which led its $3.9 million seed round. The core idea behind OctoML and TVM is to use machine learning […]
techcrunch - 8 hours ago
NASA details how it plans to establish a sustained human presence on the Moon - techcrunch

NASA details how it plans to establish a sustained human presence on the Moon

NASA’s Artemis program aims to bring humans back to the Moon, with the goal of staying there for good in the interest of pursuing additional science and exploration missions, including to Mars. But how will the agency actually make it possible for people to remain on the Moon for longer-term science missions? NASA has provided […]
techcrunch - 9 hours ago
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techcrunch
Storytelling community Wattpad embraces adult content with new personalization tools

Storytelling community Wattpad embraces adult content with new personalization tools

techcrunch - 1 month ago

Wattpad, the online storytelling community that’s home to some 80 million monthly users, has successfully tapped into the power of crowdsourcing to help uncover the next potential hits for media companies including Netflix, Hulu, NBCU, Sony Pictures Television, and others worldwide. It even launched its own YA book line to bring its online stories to a wider audience of young adults. Now, Wattpad is making a change to its app to better embrace its adult readers. The company is adding an option to toggle on “mature” stories — meaning those meant only for a 17-and-up crowd, according to Wattpad’s policy.

As you may imagine, a story is given a “mature” rating for explicit sex scenes. But stories can also be labeled mature if they include self-harm themes or scenes, like those focused on suicide or eating disorders, for example. Depictions of violence — including sexual, verbal, emotional, and physical abuse — will give a story a mature rating as well.

Up until the end of 2018, Wattpad had siphoned off its “sexier” stories into a dedicated app called After Dark. But that app has since been shut down, meaning mobile users couldn’t read their erotica in app format. Given the huge demand for mature stories — a search for Wattpad stories by the keyword “mature” led to 155,000 results, for example– the company was failing a significant portion of its readership.

The Wattpad update will allow readers (ages 17+) to gain access to these adult stories from the main app. Underneath the Home Feed carousel, readers will be able to soon find a new “Settings” section that will allow them to personalize their Home Feed.

Here, they can also take advantage of a new feature to block specific story tags so they won’t encounter any genres or themes they don’t want to see. (This is particularly helpful in the case of erotica, as readers have specific preferences and often don’t want to even see stories from other categories.)

Readers can also turn on the “Include Mature” option, that will deliver adult content to their Home Feed.

These features will come to the Wattpad website, too, the company says.

The “mature” toggle isn’t yet live today. Instead, Wattpad says the new setting is just now rolling out to all users across the web, iOS, and Android. The rollout should complete in the next couple of weeks. Blocked tags, meanwhile, will roll out starting next week.

According to Wattpad, the addition of the new options is just another step towards personalizing its service for its users. Already, the company leverages machine learning technology to offer better recommendations for readers and to increase reading time and engagement. But it had heard from readers that the Wattpad Home Feed was often filled with stories and genres that didn’t match up with their interests. The new toggles and filters are meant to give those readers more control over what stories are shown and what are hidden.

However, like most online services, Wattpad doesn’t make it difficult for minors to bypass age restrictions. The company collects users’ birthdates at signup in order to deliver appropriate content — and those under 17 won’t have the option to turn on “mature” content, Wattpad explains. But Wattpad’s age-gate only asks users for their birthday. Today, most kids know that all you have to do is fill in a different year to get access to restricted content. (This is why there are still so many tweens posting to TikTok, for example).

The update means Wattpad erotica could find its way into the hands of  more underage readers, if parents aren’t taking stock of what apps their kids have installed.

But for parents who use the parental control settings on iOS and Android, it’s easy enough to block the Wattpad app, as it’s appropriately rated 17+.

sauce: techcrunch
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